Category Archives: Horse/Rider Relationship


A hearty loud slap on the neck doesn’t mean much to a horse.  A quiet, delicate touch that sends a gentle sensation through the horse creates a much more pleasant sensation.

As with everything in dressage, when you are pleased with your horse and you want to reward him – less is more!

And … any reward must be immediate.  It is said that a horse has a shorter memory than a dog-which might be three seconds. In my experience they have selective memory!!!


Patricia – The Dressage Tipster

ANGRY? You are not good enough

Have you ever got angry whilst riding, jabbed your horse in the mouth, shouted at your horse, perhaps booted it in the ribs!


Whatever your horse is doing, it is because he is receiving your signals and responding to them, or because he does not understand yet what you want. It is not wilful defiance on the horse’s part and if you are angry, you clearly don’t understand this. If you don’t yet understand this you have a long way to go.

There is no place for anger in Dressage!

Patricia – The Dressage Tipster
This post was sponsored by :Stirrups


1 try

Dressage is about repetition, repeating exercises over and over again until it becomes part of the horse’s way of going. Practice makes perfect!

Or – my preferred way of thinking – perfect practice makes perfect.

It takes dedication, is about self-improvement and producing a well-schooled horse. It’s about trying.


BreathePromoting relaxation when you ride is really quite simple, when you know how.  You should breathe.  Yes, I know you are breathing, but are you really breathing or are you just breathing?

Try this exercise to promote relaxation.  Your breathing must be a little deliberate – put one hand on your stomach and the other hand on your shoulder.

Walk your horse. 

  • Inhale. Keeping your shoulders down, let your stomach expand and get “fat” while you keep your shoulders down. By doing so, you’re lowering your diaphragm and taking in a really deep breath.
  • Exhale. Keep your back straight (don’t collapse in the saddle), and feel your seat getting heavier in the saddle.

 It’s as simple as that … the better you breathe, the more quickly you’ll get relaxation.

Patricia –  The Dressage Tipster


1 building blocksCreating a happy horse is helped by making sure that you build the work gradually, both the quantity and the difficulty. Do not ‘over face’ your horse – you will not be rewarded.

You would not put up a huge jump for an inexperienced youngster, so why ask an inexperienced youngster to do advanced work that his body is not ready for?


This is particularly true for maintaining impulsion in the trot. It takes months for the horse to build the muscles and stamina to maintain a good level of impulsion. Be patient.

If you do not do sit-ups regularly, get down on the floor and see how many you can do today. Do the same tomorrow and the day after, they’ll be getting harder! Think of your horses development in the same light, it will get easier but it will take months for you to build up to 50 / 100 per day.

Think of each sit-up as the equivalent to your horses trot steps using impulsion. Start with 5-10 steps and build up very slowly until your horse is fit enough to easily execute this very, very demanding work.

Listen to your horse, if he cannot maintain the work, he could be tired, or have aching muscles. Let him rest and try again next time.